Posted by: aboutbirds | September 28, 2009

Birds in the News – Fossils found that are older than Archaeopteryx!

Most people grew up thinking that certain dinosaurs evolved into birds and some have no idea where they came from. Birds are not mammals, they’re not reptiles, and they’re certainly not amphibians or fish. Chinese scientists believe they have found the answer. An article from 25 September 2009 from the Daily Mail says that a newly discovered species of dinosaur from Northern China “provides hard evidence the prehistoric creatures evolved into birds.” That’s an amazing addition to bird evolution. What’s even more amazing is that these new finds are “indisputably” older than archaeopteryx. Birds evolving from dinosaurs has always been difficult to prove because of their lack of true feathers. The latest fossils were found by Dr. Xu Xing in two separate rock formations: the tiaojishan formation (168 to 151 myo) and the daohugou formation (164 to 158 myo). Archaeopteryx was only about 150 to 145 myo, therefore these new finds are significantly older. One of the fossils, named anchiornis huxleyi, “has extensive plumage and profusely feathered feet.” The finding of these fossils is critical in understanding avian evolution and its sequence through time. Dr. Xing, one of the lead scientists, said “this fossil provides confirmation that the bird-dinosaur hypothesis is correct and supports the idea that birds descended from theropod dinosaurs, the group of predatory dinosaurs that include allosaurus and velociraptor.”

I find articles like this fascinating because they show that what we have now is not the end and what we had then was so different. It makes me wonder what we’ll have 150 million years from now and even if humans will be around. We’ll never know.

Here are some pictures from the article. These are all pictures from The Daily Mail.

Discovery: An illustration of a feathered dinosaur, Anchiornis huxleyi. Its fossils were found in China

The fossils can be identified as follows: A – Skull and jaw bone, B – tail bone, C – Neck bone and right shoulder-blade, D – Left forelimb, E – Right forelimb, F – Left hindlimb. The other photos show fossils of the feathers found on various parts of the dinosaur’s body

Remains: The newly discovered ancient bird fossil (above) found in China which scientists believe proves birds evolved from dinosaurs. The corresponding parts of the bird are shown below

‘Till next time – enjoy!



  1. Why do people think creationists are against science?

    “If you could find one species, any species on the planet, that doesn’t fit into a chart, OR; if you could find one species that is actually in the wrong order of physical characteristics, showing that it is does not demonstrate the continuation of t…

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